Sweet and Spicy Sweet Potato Pineapple Chili

Chili is my favorite meal to make at the front of a busy week. It can sit for several days in the fridge, and taste better and better the long it sits. This week is particularly busy for me, so I knew a chili would satisfy not only our dinners, but my lunch box as well :) This recipe has the extra step of making your own 'ground beef' (AKA: Flavored Textured Vegetable Protein), but if you are in a hurry just use a store bought variety (such as YVES) or use the same flavorings as in this recipe and swap in some lentils, rice, or extra beans.

Ingredients (serves 6-8):
Mock Ground Beef:
2 tsp oil
2 bay leaves
1 cup Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP)
1 tsp dried Italian herbs
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp soy sauce
a few grinds of pepper (about 1/4 tsp)
1 1/2 cup vegetable stock

Chili, Other:
1 onion, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 sweet potato, chopped
4 large tomatoes, chopped 

1/4 tsp sea salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup pineapple tidbits
2 cans mixed beans (19oz cans)
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup pasta sauce (your favorite)

2 tbsp lemon or lime juice
1 tsp agave, sugar, or maple syrup
additional sea salt and pepper to taste

Vegan Cheese
Vegan Sour Cream
Nutrtional Yeast (my favorite)

1) For the 'ground beef', place all of the ingredients in a large pot (except for the stock), and saute for about 1 minute. Add the stock, stir and cover allowing to steam over low heat for about 5 minutes). The TVP will soak up most of the moisture. If you are using this recipe just for the 'ground beef' decrease the water so that there is a 1:1 ratio.
2) Add the onion, sweet potato, and celery to the 'ground beef' mixture, sauteing for about 3 minutes over medium heat. Add the tomatoes, stir and cover for about 5 minutes so that the tomatoes can lose some of their juice. Add the remaining ingredients (aside from the lemon juice, agave, sea salt and pepper). Cover and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the potato is softened. Once softened, add the lemon/ lime juice, sweetener, and additional sea salt and pepper (if needed). Remove the bay leaves, serve and enjoy with your favorite toppings!

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